Summer Camp for Officials

Wednesday I will be heading out to Philadelphia with some new friends from across the state, Diamond Dust and Sicket Picket.

It’s just over 600 miles and over 9 hours to drive down from Detroit, one way. I’ll be attending the WFTDA Officiating Clinic on Thursday and Friday, and then attending as a spectator, the East Coast Derby Extravaganza.

Last August, I attended the Officiating Clinic in Toronto, CA.  I had a blast. I got a lot of questions answered, met a ton of new people.  I told myself than, that I would go back again. Thankfully for me, WFTDA updated their rule set and gave me a good reason to register again.

Going away for officiating clinics is like going away for summer camp.  You eat a bunch of snacks in the car along the way. You claim your spot in the hotel room by jumping on the bed. Sometimes you stay with people you know, some times you’ve only met them once before. You’re usually too excited to sleep, but you know you have to get up early for class.

They wrangle all of the officials into a hotel boardroom, where everyone mingles around like kids at the mess hall.  You pick your seats next to friends you haven’t seen in forever or new friends you are looking to meet.  Each one of us being proud of where we came from, all sporting similar track jackets with our leagues logos.

Soon we’ll be split up between NSOs and SOs.  We’ll spend the next few hours discussing positions, rules, procedures.  Asking questions, telling stories, and taking notes. Each one of us providing various levels of experience and knowledge.

We’ll break for lunch, and then do it all over again that afternoon.

The second day makes use of our skills, and knowledge.  There will be scrimmage and we’ll all try new positions, or improve on ones we already know.

And when the day is over, there will be many sweaty hugs.  Facebook friend requests will be sent, and accepted.  There will be open invitations to come up and officiate with your home league some day.

Unlike the last time, I will have the pleasure of seeing many of these officials again over the weekend. Rather than sharing a stinky car ride home.

The East Coast Derby Extravaganza (ECDX) is a weekend of Challenge, Regulation, and Sanctioned bouts.  Fun mixed scrimmages with teams such as Freddy’s Dream Killers vs. Jason’s Crystal Lake Slashers, or Daleks vs. Doctors. There will also be some amazing bouts like Gotham vs Texas, and Windy City vs Tampa.

Another part of the weekend that I am looking forward to is the Roast of Judge Knott.  I hang around with far too many announcers to miss an opportunity to see some of the best roast a Ref that I had the pleasure meeting at the last officials clinic.  Not to mention, he’s originally from DDG.

After a few room changes, swapping roommates from one room to another, staying out late for after parties, and getting up early for bouts, we’ll head back to Detroit on Monday morning.  And if I am lucky, some where in all of that I will snatch a few minutes to head into the city for some sight seeing and a cheesesteak.

If anyone has any suggestions of things I need to see, do, or eat, I’ll take them.  Post them down below or on the Zombies & Robots Facebook page.  I look forward to reading them!


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